Combined Heat & Power, District Heating & Cooling, Demand Side Services, Energy Efficiency

ADE Policy and External Affairs

Government has recognised the value of decentralised energy and has clear commitments to growing the industry in the years ahead.  

Through our work with Government and other key bodies, the Association for Decentralised Energy provides an influential voice for its members.

We are the leading decentralised energy advocate. We are shaping the debate and influencing policy around the UK's transition to a more cost effective, efficient and user-led energy system.

2021's Policy Achievements

Strategic achievements

  • Our policy team's work helped to remove barriers to flexibility providers participating in the new flexibility markets.
  • We successfully fought for the costs of heat network regulation to be socialised to prevent it creating an unmanageable burden for industry.
  • We raised the profile of CHP with senior politicians, including the Chairs of the BEIS Select Committee and the Environmental Audit Committee.
  • Ensured that, despite disappointment associated with the Green Homes Grant, energy efficiency continues to be recognised as strategically important to net zero – including securing progress on policy asks like the introduction of performance-based ratings for commercial buildings.

Industrial and commercial CHP

  • We have pushed for CHP to be recognised as a short-term no-regrets option for industrial efficiency in the Government’s Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy.
  • CHP is now being recognised as a priority for fuel-switching to hydrogen in the Government’s Hydrogen Strategy.

Find out why we are advocates for CHP.

Demand-side services

  • We continued to support the case in technical working groups for a distinct role for aggregators in the wholesale market, opening up the largest electricity market to flexibility specialists.
  • We are actively pushing forward technical work with industry and the networks to ensure that any last-resort network tools for managing rapid uptake of EVs and heat pumps are fair and do not undermine the value of flexibility.
  • The Government's Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan 2.0 notes the importance of "Smart as Standard". The ADE continues to work with BEIS teams across heat, energy efficiency and fuel poverty schemes to deliver this ambition.

Find out why we are advocates for demand side services. 

Energy efficiency

  • We are running a campaign for green VAT on energy efficiency, pushing it further into the public spotlight, engaging with the media, Government and other political stakeholders.
  • We helped to shape the design of the fourth version of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), with good engagement from our members, alongside BEIS and Ofgem.

Find out why we are advocates for energy efficiency.

Heat networks

  • We succeeded in decreasing the cost of regulation in the heat network sector to c. £2/customer through impactful lobbying of BEIS and Ofgem, resulting in agreement to spread the cost of regulation across.
  • The Heat Network Scotland Act was passed by Scottish Parliament, and work is underway on zoning and interaction with the Local Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategy (LHEES), a key pillar of Scotland regional planning for decarbonisation.
  • We are working with Government to bring forward regulation for the heat network market in legislation, ensuring it is placed on a sustainable footing as a mainstream energy infrastructure just like gas and electricity.

Find out why we are advocates for heat networks.

2021 External Affairs Achievements

Strategic Achievements

  • We achieved positive coverage across national and trade press, with the BBC and leading trade publications picking up on ADE commentary covering issues such as Green VAT, the Heat and Buildings Strategy and our COP26 coverage.
  • We held our first face-to-face event since the pandemic at Parliament which attracted Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for BEIS, as a keynote speaker.
  • Speakers at other ADE events over the year included Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), Philip Dunne MP, Chair of the BEIS Committee, Darren Jones MP, Lords BEIS Spokesperson, Lord Callanan, CEO of the Climate Change Committee (CCC), Chris Stark, and many more.
  • We engaged with MPs and the Government across all four priority areas, briefing stakeholders about decentralised energy technologies and bringing them on board with our vision, despite the continued challenges that the pandemic threw at us.


  • Our time in Glasgow for COP26 was a major success, we were joined by a delegation of over 20 member organisations for a series of official COP events, site visits, networking meets and industry roundtables.
  • The delegation visited a number of sites including Edinburgh University energy centre, Strathclyde University energy centre, Queen's Quay energy centre and two Vital Energi energy centres, including the commonwealth games site.
  • Members contributed to a series of blog posts that were shared across the ADE website, our Green Recovery website and our social media channels. We also recorded a raft of video content which will be released early this year.
  • Outgoing ADE CEO Ian Calvert was joined by a number of members during the Flex Education industry roundtable hosted by Energy UK and streamed live to hundreds of viewers.
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